Illinois is one of only a few states that allows buyers to purchase tax-liable properties for a fraction of their fair market value.
Investors love this opportunity, but there is a long and arduous process that buyers must follow. Courts often favor the seller (original property owner). Here’s why.
It goes back to the Great Depression
In the 1930s, many people were losing their homes due to nonpayment. Rather than have these homes sit unoccupied, banks wanted to keep their assets fluid while cities and governments wanted to reduce crime that was rising through the shantytowns. So the process of buying delinquent tax deeds began. Today, there are so many ways to contest a tax deed. The Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund summarizes case law and the strict ways in which courts construe tax law.
Courts care a lot about procedure
Illinois judges may throw out cases because of inaccurate paperwork, incorrect jurisdiction or deadline lapses. Part of the reason for this is they want to give every opportunity for the property to stay in the hands of the original owner and not favor a free-for-all of investors coming after foreclosed property. If you want the privilege of getting a special deal from someone else’s hardship, the court expects you to follow the process with precision.
Courts hear too many claims and endless counterclaims
Because of the current backlog of civil cases, courts cannot afford to accommodate very many protracted legal battles. Civil procedure sets roadblocks in place designed to filter out frivolous claims and allow the court to entertain serious inquiries only.